Local News

Controversial Fee Dropped For Some Local Gym Members

Posted January 5, 2006

— Around 40,000 members times $25 equals $1 million. That's the payout a local gym hoped for, but won't get.

Many of those 40,000 members of Capital Fitness were angry when the club sent letters last month saying members at its eight facilities would be charged a $25 "Up Fit" fee for club upgrades. The club automatically drafted accounts of many members.

Some complained to Five on Your Side about whether it was legal, and also contacted Attorney General Roy Cooper. He said because the fee wasn't spelled out in the contracts of more than 33,000 members, the gym couldn't collect it.

So Capital Fitness will send their uncashed checks back to those consumers. For the remaining 6,600 members who signed a newer version of the contract, Cooper questions how the fee is spelled out.

"It's clearly in the contract, but it's in the part where there's a lot of writing, a lot of small print and it's not included in the area where you normally would expect fees and charges to be," said Cooper.

Capital Fitness CEO Rick Quinn said he's confident the club can charge those 6,600 members. But he said all the contracts will be redone to make the possibility of that charge more prominent.

Had this fee gone through for all 40,000 members, it would have generated $1 million for the club. Now, $835,000 in fees will be dropped, and the gym will have to show the attorney general what improvements were made with the money that they can collect.

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